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Legislation and statutory interpretation

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

The topic of this course is legislation in the sense of statutory law, in other words, written texts of binding legal value that dictate the current state of regulation imposed by government. In the past legislation used to be a prerogative of civil law jurisdictions, however it is now at the forefront of sources of law both in civil and common law jurisdictions. Its increasing popularity as a source of law has created issues with the extensive volume of legislation and with the interrelation between legislative texts within the national jurisdiction as well as within the original and international jurisdictions to which the country belongs. By the end of this course you should have a systematic understanding of knowledge of legislative studies in the wide interdisciplinary concept at the national, regional and international levels and be able to acquire critical awareness of current political, legal and legislative problems in the area of legislation and legally binding texts.

Module A: Introduction to legislation


  • Legislation as a tool for regulation
  • Nature and types of legislation
  • Geographical extent of legislation
  • Temporal extent of legislation
  • Supranational legislation

Module B: Making legislation


  • Policy process
  • Legislative process
  • Drafting process
  • Legislative impact assessment

Module C: Statutory interpretation


  • Interpretation of legislation
  • Literal rule
  • Mischief rule
  • Purposive rule
  • Presumptions and maxims of interpretation

Module D: Tests for quality of legislation


  • Rule of law test
  • Human rights and constitutionality test
  • Good law test
  • Functionality test – effectiveness


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you attempt Module A first.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Common Law
  • Economic Regulation
  • Legal Theory and History
  • Procedural Law
  • Public Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.